There are different types of diabetes, so there’s no one-size fits-all approach when it comes to sticking to a diet plan. With type two diabetes, there’s nothing that you’re not allowed to eat, but there are certainly some foods that you should try to limit as much as possible in order to keep your health stable.
The NHS recommends eating some kind of starchy carbohydrate with every meal so that you get a good source of energy and fibre, as well as more fruit and vegetables, and less sugar, salt and fat. This advice does differ for everyone though, so performing a blood test before and two hours after a meal can help you deduce whether the changes are right for you.
This kind of eating plan is the most popular with people who have type two diabetes. Many people report lowered blood sugar levels when they introduce this into their lifestyle, which can have an impact on their dependency on medication. It’s important that you talk to your doctor before starting a low-carb diet, as some people may have an increased risk of hypoglycaemia due to the medication that they’re on.
This diet basically involves cutting out meat, dairy and other animal products. It works for those with diabetes as it doesn’t usually involve much portion control or calorie counting – fruit and vegetables should give you that same full feeling but with much less calories. For meat lovers, it does involve a lot of compromise, but once you get into the habit of using meat substitutes, you’ll be on a roll. Just remember to keep your carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals balanced, and look out for the calorie content of any substitutes in order to keep your weight down.
Losing just 5-10% of your body weight can really help to improve your blood sugar levels, blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as having a profound effect on your mood, energy levels and overall wellbeing.
It’s never too late to make a change, and even if you’ve had diabetes for years and years, losing weight should make a huge difference. Being more active and eating a much more balanced diet should be enough to begin to reduce your symptoms. This doesn’t mean that you have to join the gym and start running marathons – even one or two walks every week should help to shift some excess pounds.
With any diet, when you have diabetes, it’s best to slowly introduce the changes so that you can keep a close eye on your blood sugar levels and don’t do anything drastic that will cause a huge problem for your health.
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